THE REVITALIZATION OF THE NISHNAABEMWIN LANGUAGE PROJECT



 
 
 
 
 
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Eshkentam-Nishinaabemang Mzinagan 
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Questionnaire

INCORPORATING COMMUNITY INPUT IN THE DEVELOPMENT STAGES OF LINKING  THE NISHNAABEMWIN LANGUAGE TO MODERN TECHNOLOGY 

Rationale

Through the residential school system, generations of Aboriginal people  have been forcibly separated and removed  from their language and culture.  Even today, the education of our children is based upon a curriculum that was formed from a colonialistic and racist society, who some prefer to call the newcomers.  This education system has forced parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents into turning away from their beliefs, languages and identities in order to follow Euro-Canadian ideologies.  In this time of the seventh fire, there has been a re-emergence of original teachings, traditional beliefs which of course must be grounded in the language of the people. 

I have heard some Elders say that we need to have the language and culture in order to continue as Original People.  We need to be able to teach our language because this language encompasses all of our beliefs, culture and ways of interacting with all of creation.  The teachers and personnel from the Boards of Education need to be made aware that Aboriginal People need an education system that is based on language and culture without interference. 

Community Input 

Communities must be involved from the outset in order that they can have input into the development, control and review of all facets of the proposed curriculum.  By validating and valuing the experiences and beliefs of Aboriginal people it will in turn send a message to other peoples that Native culture is credible and deserves not only a mention but a firm place in the curriculum.  Although some may feel uncomfortable with the changes that are at hand, we must try and work within this time of technology. 

Questionnaire

In order to incorporate community input  of the Revitalization of the Nishnaabemwin Language Project and fulfill the requirement for a Native Studies course, a questionnaire was developed to address these matters. After distribution, compilation and analysis of the data, a report was 
written. 

The layout of the questionnaire consisted of three three separate but synonymous sections which were Personal Information, Community Information and Project Information
 

  • Personal Information pertained to the nation of origin as well as their ages and the languages spoken.  I wanted to see if either the nation, age or language affected the answer they gave in the questions that were to follow. 
  • Community Information was also important because I wanted to see if languages were spoken and taught in the selected communities.  I also wanted to know how people identified hemselves in their communities and whether this would affect their answers. 
  • Project Information was crucial because the answers given here would have direct impact and would also affect the development of the activities that would be incorporated in the production of a CD ROM.  The questions were posed in such a way as to get the participantís opinions on marketing because they are the ones we are attempting to approach with the finished product. 
 

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